How to Get Rid Of Horse Flies Quickly

There are many different types of fly over 120,000 known types infact and one of most irritating ones for livestock owners or farmers are horse flies aka deer flies. Farms or houses that have horses and cattle will surely face a lot of problems with these flies, the female horse flies need protein from livestock’s blood.

If your home or surrounding area is infested by them, then you’ll need to give serious thought to eliminate horse flies as soon as possible that is why I’m going to show you how to get rid of horse flies and this will protect the health of your livestock and your family.

Horse Fly (Deer fly) Appearance:


They give painful bites on the skin of horses, cattle and even humans so that it can draw the blood required to produce their eggs. The fact that these flies are extremely difficult to control, make them a common nuisance for people in rural areas. Insectcides and sprays are not always the best solutions to get rid of them and can cause more harm than good. A few issues that these flies can cause include:

  • They are vectors of diseases such as leococytozoan
  • They make livestock lose weight
  • Their bite is really painful for both cattle and humans
  • Disease like tularemia, hog cholera and anthrax can be transmitted by them

How to Get Rid Of Horse Flies?

Traps and horse fly repellents are the only real way to deal with horse flies.

Simple horse fly trap:

You’ll need:

  • A dark blue or black bucket
  • A length of rope
  • Something to create a hole in the bottom of the bucket, A drill works best.
  • A sticky substance either homemade (read below) or a sticky insect trapping substance bought from a store


1# Take your dark blue or black bucket or thin plastic cylinder and drill a hole large enough for your rope to be run though.

2# Put the rope though the hole you’ve created and pull it out the top of the bucket, You’ll now want to tie a large knot in the rope that is big enough to not pass back though the hole.

3# Hang the bucket where possible in an area that is most infested with horse flies, You’ll want to make sure the bucket can move around slowly and every so often. I achieve this by allowing the wind to move the bucket.

4# Cover the entire surface area of the bucket with a really sticky substance and watch the horse flies get stuck to it

Create your own sticky substance:  Mix corn syrup with water and boil it, To get the right consistency you’ll want to mix equal parts of each in a pan and bring it to a boil after it has cooled down you can brush the mixture onto the trap covering all areas.

Also liquid washing up liquid and petroleum jelly mixed together can make an effective insect sticking subtance that is easy to clean off and reapply.


This is a very basic homemade horse fly trap but it works well and if you create a few of them it can help a huge amount with your horse fly problem. Some others have created much larger bitting fly traps personally I didn’t find these effective enough to waste the time and materials required to build them. And your desperate you can always get some Red Top Fly Traps they are cheap and are the best fly trap you can buy. They use a protein lure which is perfect for biting flies.

Extra measures to get rid horse flies

For horse fly repellents I recommend Farnam SWAT Fly Repellent Ointment for your livestock and horses. For you I’d recommend wearing the correct clothing where possible cover as much of your body as you can. Wear light colours such as tans, yellows, karki etc. You can also create some homemade fly repelling body lotions or sprays from essential oils.

Unfortually horse flies are hard to 100% remove from your area. Short of making significant changes to the eviroment around you there is not much anyone can do, I do recommend that you try to keep the land around you as dry as possible. Draining wet areas of land will remove potential breeding areas for horse flies.

I recomend you avoid any insecticides when it comes to dealing with horse flies in my experience insecticides are not that effective against horse flies and will cause more damage to the target area.